As quarantine continues across the country, Massachusetts musicians keep finding ways to collaborate from a distance and rally for COVID-19 relief.
The newest in-isolation effort to emerge from Boston is digital compilation We’re In This Together, which surfaced last Friday (May 15). All proceeds from the album sales will be donated to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The compilation was kickstarted by Boston musician Christopher G. Brown, who launched a Facebook page in March to coordinate and collect submissions. Instead of collecting previously unreleased tracks from all the artists involved — as is the case with many compilation albums — musicians were randomly sorted into pairs for this project, and then recorded new original music together.
Some of the resulting combos include D-Tension and Jen Kearney, Linnea Herzog (pictured above) and Phil Fleming, and Doomer Juice, a duo consisting of Ben Potrykus (formerly of Bent Shapes) and and DJ Sawtooth.
“We may be isolated, but we’re not alone,” reads a statement on the album’s Bandcamp page. “A number of Boston-area (and adjacent) musicians were randomly paired together to create a new song, and the results are this compilation. All proceeds from this compilation will be donated directly to the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Stay safe out there!”
For many artists whose recording plans have been put on hold, the creative task of pairing with a random partner offered a major reprieve from the doldrums of quarantine.
“The pandemic hit and my plans to record new songs was put on hold,” Lowell’s D-Tension tells Vanyaland. “At this time I saw a post by something called ‘We’re In This Thing Together.’ Like One Night Band, I liked the challenge of it.”
“If there’s anything that comes out of this quarantine it’s the explosion of art that’s happened,” D-Tension adds. “There are no shows and we’ve seen Tiger King. What’s left? The only new thing is the music and art that, as usual, comes from pain and despair. That is the true function of art — always has been.”